Uneven data releases add to the caution the Fed has been operating under.

Conflicting data was released last week. The strong data included a large increase in consumer confidence and nonfarm payroll growth. The weaker data included motor vehicle sales, the unemployment rate, and trade deficit. It is weeks like this that makes determining the degree to which we have reached a new normal level of economic activity so difficult. It is the reason the Fed wants to wait for more data before making any changes to current accommodative monetary policy. The employment data was a real mystery. Nonfarm payrolls reported in the corporate survey rose by 850,000 in June. Strong growth of 343,000 was reported for leisure and hospitality sectors. Solid growth of 99,000 was reported for trade sectors, 67,100 growth in transportation and utilities, and professional services jobs gained 72,000.